All parties agree the task to get the Bill approved will be tougher
Almost all political parties agree that the task to get the Women's Reservation Bill approved by the Lok Sabha would be far more difficult than it was in the Rajya Sabha. For, the three Yadav leaders — Mulayam Singh, Lalu Prasad and Sharad Yadav — who together constitute the staunchest opposition to the legislation, are all members of the House of the People.
Although the numbers in the Lok Sabha are stacked up nicely in support of the Bill, it seems the government may prefer to get the urgent financial business of this budget session through before giving the final push to women's reservation in Parliament.
It is also equally clear that with the Congress floor strategy worked out successfully in the Rajya Sabha — if the same were to be applied in the Lower House — the supporters of the Bill would together comfortably meet the constitutional requirement of numbers for the historic constitutional amendment.
The Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Left parties, United Progressive Alliance partners (minus the Trinamool Congress which abstained in the Rajya Sabha), the Biju Janata Dal, the Akalis, the Shiv Sena, the Telugu Desam Party and other smaller groups between them have more than the two-thirds majority required to see the Bill through comfortably.
On Tuesday, the message has been sent home to those opposing the Bill that they will not be allowed to subvert the will of the House, even if that means suspension of members and use of marshals to take them out.
That is expected to have the desired effect as some of them may prefer to remain inside the House during the debate, speak their mind and cast their votes against it rather than disrupt proceedings.
For at least one party, the Janata Dal (United), opposition to the Bill has proved to be politically disastrous leading to a vertical split in its ranks.